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Monday, June 21, 2010

Portugal 7-0 North Korea

THE FINAL SCORE: Portugal 7-0 North Korea (Raul Meireles, Tiago 2, Hugo Almeida, Liedson, Ronaldo, Simão)


THE LINE-UPS:


Portugal: 1-Eduardo; 13-Miguel, 2-Bruno Alves, 6-Ricardo Carvalho, 23-Fabio Coentrao, 16-Raul Meireles, 8-Pedro Mendes, 19-Tiago, 7-Cristiano Ronaldo, 11-Simao Sabrosa, 18-Hugo Almeida.

North Korea: 1-Ri Myong-guk; 5-Ri Kwang-chon, 2-Cha Jong-hyok, 13-Pak Chol-jin, 3-Ri Jun-il, 8-Ji Yun-nam, 11-Mun In-guk, 17-An Yong-hak, 4-Pak Nam-chol, 10-Hong Yong-jo, 9-Jong Tae-se.


Portugal and North Korea had a close match when we talk about the events that portrait the first half. As North Korea done in the last 15 minutes against Brazil, they went to perform the same in the first half against the “Lusitanos”. Jong-hun Kim displayed his normal formation of 5-4-1 but had a special attention towards Cristiano Ronaldo closing him down often with 3 players in order to jeopardize the chances of Portugal’s offensive power especially after Queiroz decided they must play under the individual Ronaldo himself despite the amazing creativity and skills from other Portuguese players. The game looked like could go either way in the first half but no one was expecting what was to happen next.

In an unexpected turn of events the so called even match turned into a massacre from Portugal on North Korea and there was no 1966’s World Cup cause instead of the 5-3 Portugal had on the Chollima, the game quickly sparkled into a 7 goals draft well designed by the Portuguese.

When they unlocked the defensive line of the North Korea defense there was no turning back on the chances that the Asians could have had to potentially win/draw the match. The North Korean coach did well when predicting that closing down Ronaldo would increase the chances of North Korea of not losing the match but somehow Portugal had to come up with a plan B and that was the plan that saw Portugal playing under the expectations everyone had prior to this competition.

While Ronaldo was not making part of the match in an essential way, the “Selecção das Quinas” proved that football is a sport when the group prevails there is the chance for individuals to shine. And so was it. Portugal scored 7 goals from 6 different players in different positions.

Raúl Meireles and Fábio Coentrão were instrumental in building this momentum and they allowed Portugal to put themselves in a position that only a miracle will see them not progressing into the next phase. In the last day of the Group G Portugal has to concede 3 goals against Brazil without scoring and Ivory Coast win by the same 7 goal margin in order to progress. Last time that Brazil played against Portugal the Samba boys defeated fellow Brazilian by 6-2. Even if this result would pop-up again in the World Cup, “Les Éléphants” would have to manage to win by a 6 goal margin. When was the last time you seen Ivory Coast winning by such margin?

Beyond the supremacy of Portugal especially on the second half we have to praise the effort of the North Korean side and one player in particular that potentially we will see him in the Premier League next season, Jong Tae Se. “The Asian Rooney” was the essence of the danger of the Chollima using is amazing ability and pace alongside composure and strength to have what would have been the best performance in this match case Portugal had not made the 7-0 result especially at the expense of fantastic Raul Meireles and Fábio Coentrão.


MAN OF THE MATCH: Raúl Meireles


Portugal 7-0 North Korea (Highlights)

Simão | MySpace Video

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